What do you do for a living? This has long been a standard icebreaker when starting conversations with new acquaintances and it was usually an easy one. Now more and more people don’t have a satisfactory answer to that otherwise benign question; or at least an answer they feel comfortable admitting. The unemployment rate continues to hover near 10 percent nationwide, even though many employers are hiring. The situation is so grim that a grumble has begun among the people that something must be done, and they are demanding that the Federal government be the one to do something.
This is not a surprising reaction. Whenever something goes wrong, any human is going to expect someone to do something; someone in authority—someone other than us. The sad fact it that there is no single authority that can fix this problem. It is not up to the government to create jobs.
President Obama has been drawing a lot of criticism and blame for the current jobs market. Some of the problem is his fault, but not all. His responsibility in this mess is that he created policies that drove businesses to stop spending, thus cutting jobs. That is a problem he can address by reversing some of his “Big Government” policies and letting the economy heal itself.
But no one should be looking to Washington or Obama to create jobs. It is not the government’s job to create jobs. Job creation has always been and should always be the purview of business. A business owner determines how many people the company needs working for them in order to maximize revenue and maintain productivity. Too few employees depletes morale and hurts productivity, too many employees dilute compensation and benefits and erode profit. The business owner needs to determine the number of employees needed and the compensation levels, not the government.
Similarly, the government is not supposed to create jobs out of thin air. Creating an office in order to create jobs is a waste of taxpayer dollars and hurts the economy rather than helping it, since it is invariably paid for with tax increases to the working class. Infrastructure jobs are only temporary and while that may boost employment figures in the short term, it does nothing to help the economy in the long run.
With his public approval rating the lowest it has ever been, Obama feels the pressure to do something to get the public support back—especially heading into the campaign season. He pulls his old “stimulus plan” off the shelf—the same one that was defeated because it would cost too much of the tax payer—rebrands it a “Jobs Bill” and expects congress to approve it so “America can get back to work.”
This bill was defeated in the senate—again—and now Obama is pointing fingers at senate republicans claiming that they do not want American to have jobs. This is ludicrous. No one wants high unemployment. Conservatives want people to go back to work, but they don’t want the government to pay for it. Much of our current economic mess is because of too much government spending. Throwing more money at it will only make it worse. What sense does it make to try to put out a gasoline fire with more gasoline? The answer is to relax some of the regulations on business that the liberals put in place so that business owners feel comfortable hiring more people. Create an environment that will foster new business development, not more taxes and more regulations that make entrepreneurs think twice about starting a new business venture. Give business room to grow, and more jobs will sprout as a result.
People want jobs. They want to work. But people need to look to business for job, not Uncle Sam. The last thing any sane person should want is the federal government writing their paycheck with money garnered from taxing others’ checks. That is just one more example of socialism. Look for a job that generates a paycheck that is not dependant on other people’s paychecks, but rather on the success of the business in question. Then people can start answering that polite ice breaker “what do you do for a living” with an answer full of pride of self respect.